THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION (1975)
Article 4989 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bill Rebane
Featuring Steve Brodie, Barbara Hale, Robert Easton
What it is: The bigger they are, the goofier they look
A small Wisconsin town is overrun with giant spiders when a black hole lands from space.
This is the best Bill Rebane movie I’ve seen so far. Of course, you have to bear in mind that when I say that, I only mean that it’s more engaging than the bottomless pit of nothingness that is MONSTER A-GO GO (and it’s hard to find something that isn’t) and more entertaining than the dreary THE ALPHA INCIDENT. Make no mistake – this movie is bad, but at least you can get some laughs out of it. The unconvincing spider effects are already the stuff of legend (with Volkswagens used for some of the spiders’ bodies), and the real spiders used in the movie only make the giant ones look more fake. Still, for my money, the worst special effect is the black hole itself (which looks like and probably was a big pile of dirt). The dual-personality script jumps back and forth between serious and comic, due to the fact that two different writers worked on it; still, the attempted laughs fall flat while the real laughs are in the effects. Still, I can’t help but admire the ambition shown here when you consider the budget was only $300,000. And I will credit the movie with having one good well-timed scare when you’re thinking the scare will come from one place but it comes from another; the only reason it doesn’t work is because the special effects once again aren’t up to snuff.